The adopter should definitely bring their children to the meeting. It’s important that everyone in the prospective adopter’s household come to the meeting. You definitely want to observe how the children treat your pet, and to make sure that your pet is safe for them as well.
Introduce your pet carefully to children. Let them be within view of each other, but safely out of range. Observe everyone’s body language for any red flags. When you feel comfortable that there is no danger, let them come closer together and observe them again. Continue this until the children and your pet are able to touch each other. Watch for three things:
- Is your pet comfortable?
- Are the children gentle?
- Are the parents watching closely to make sure their children are gentle, and giving appropriate guidance?
Introducing your pet to the potential adopter’s other pets is a bit trickier. Ideally, a pet-to-pet introduction is done slowly and carefully in the home after adoption, and sometimes it takes days or weeks to really do it right. In fact, if you’re adopting out a cat, the adopter shouldn’t even bother to bring their dog or cat to meet your cat.
If you’re adopting out a dog, though, the adopter should definitely bring his or her own dog to the meeting. You’ll want to do an initial introduction; it’s definitely not ideal, but if they don’t love each other immediately, you, and the adopter, can at least see what you’re up against. Is it just a little tension that could be mitigated by a nice, slow introduction at home? Or is it outright ferocity that the new owner isn’t prepared to handle?